Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here We Are To Worship



This morning in worship with Redeemer, we focused on Acts 2:42-47, the beautiful description of the fellowship of the Early Church:

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

As an illustration of the communal nature of our faith, we changed all of the lyrics of our worship songs this morning. Instead of I/me/my/mine language, we used we/us/our/ours language. (I should note that this was Mike King's idea... He led worship in our staff chapel last Tuesday and did this very thing.)

Some examples:

Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness
Opened our eyes, let us see
Beauty that made these hearts adore You
Hope of our lives spent with You

Awkward? Yes. After singing that song's original lyrics about a bazillion times, it was really hard to sing the "new" lyrics. But there was a sweetness to it. I loved singing together, as a family of faith:

Open the eyes of our heart, Lord… We want to see You…

We will sing to and worship the King who is worthy… You’re our Prince of Peace, and we will live our lives for You…

Rise up within us, Living Water, Spirit of God in us… You are welcome in this place…

And in the times when I would trip over the words, it only served as a reminder to me that it’s not always easy to do life together. But it’s worth it.

3 comments:

a. said...

Matt,

I wonder what really constitutes "community"? I ask because although I am quite active in my church I don't feel all that connected to others in my church. We live such fast paced lives, working much, lots of activities, it's hard to feel one has time for one's own family let alone others, and when there is time for others, don't we naturally want to fill it with people that are good friends of ours instead of other new people?

I just don't see Acts 2 being feasible in this day and age, at least not how its portrayed there.

Matt Nightingale said...

I hear ya. I think I'm such a big believer in community because I lived it for several years at Peninsula Covenant Church. I know not everyone there experienced it like I did, but I lived on the campus, next to some of my closest friends. I had friends there who were more like brothers than just friends. And we really *did* share everything in common, from our joys and sorrows, to our sins and confessions, to our needs and helping to meet one another's needs.

I dream of church communities where it is not uncommon to eat together, pray together, share our needs, meet our needs, confess our sins, restore and receive one another. I know it's possible because I've experienced it.

Matt Nightingale said...

My buddy Brian Rhen, my old PCC neighbor, used to say... and this is just one example... why do we each need our own lawnmower? Every American is so self-reliant. We all need our OWN tools and our OWN stuff. And then it ends up owning us! Why don't we SHARE... We could save so much money... I know it's easier said than done.

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